If I could speak through time there are many things I wish I could tell myself, but most importantly would be addressing the moments that made the biggest impact.
To my adolescent self you should know a few things. First off when grandpa passes it isn’t your fault you kept your father in Florida. He wanted you to enjoy your birthday party and knew canceling it wouldn’t change anything. Don’t hold on to that blame, the hurt you will cause yourself is damaging and will take years to overcome, know that you are a child and just that, so enjoy it and lighten up. Don’t rush to grow up, you miss out on some great times worrying about adult issues. Your passion for people is what will make you successful, but don’t put so much weight on what others think, your closest friends will never leave. Be a child, be free, and never quit reading or writing.
During those crazy teenage years you will search for you who are, changing your opinions and actions to suit others. Go with your gut, it will be right 99% of the time. Of those friends you have, only a few will be there in the end so don’t worry about impressing them, and don’t get suckered into doing all the crazy shit that will arise. Have fun, live but don’t lose focus of who you are. School IS important so put in the time and study. It will be crucial later in life, trust me. And when you feel that selfish spoiled need to beg mom for more material items, stop and think about the strain you are putting on your parents marriage. Help out, be a good son, and DON’T be that driving wedge between them. Mom will come out just fine but the pain you will experience seeing your father heartbroken will never be healed. And remember it is not all about you so be aware of others.
When you graduate you will want to be independent and leave the nest, this will be ok. You will grow, experience the real world, and dad will become one of your closest friends. But stay away from the drugs and quit smoking! It will cost you a great job, take years away from you, and make you drop down to your knees crying when you have that shameful talk with your mother.
Stop thinking people are after you and cling to your friends for advice and support. Work on your faith and don’t fall into the pits of alcohol and sexual pleasure. It’s fun, but damaging to your character that can not be fixed. Join kappa sigma, you won’t regret it, but dont let them change who you are. You were picked for being you, stay that way and embrace the brotherhood.
None of the girls you date throughout life will last, mostly because you are an ass to them and looking for the next best thing. Slow down, learn early to appreciate them and be a true southern gentleman and treat them as ladies, one might turn out to last. This will save you time trying to figure out what went wrong. And don’t compare every girl to that first love. She will be gone and you will move on, let her go.
Lastly your dreams will be your driving force. You have a strong determination and immense stubbornness. You will accomplish much with this, use it wisely. Focus on what really matters. I love you, you are me, and you have molded me into this man. You will look back and be proud so keep that head up and look forward always.